Thursday, December 27, 2007

Help Wanted - Your Thoughts Please

I plan on introducing "Technology in Education" to a few different groups of teachers over the winter months. My broad outline is here on this wiki. I'm working on finishing it up over the next few days.

I want to show the teachers how they can working with students through using the tools themselves. I plan on blending some of the "standard" movies that many of us have seen online with the use of online survey tools, wikis, and blogs. I will be using the videos as "commercial breaks" as Scott Elias describes in his Slideshare presentation. I found it through Patrick Higgins' Chalkdust blog post.

I'm also trying to model some of the exercises that the group has gone through over the past few months: Think-Pair-Share, Carousel Brainstorming, Jigsaw, and Individual Reflection -- with a computerized twist.

One of the tools I plan on using to open the session is this SurveyMonkey questionnaire. I want to be able to do two things: 1) give the teachers hands on experience with the tools 2) be able to get a quick read of the group to focus our attention.

I'd be very appreciative if you would take the survey (it's a copy of the one I have for the various groups) and let me know if you think something is glaringly (or not so glaringly) missing. For example, in question 1, what category would you put Skype in? Is Yugma a different variety of Skype (similar to Twitter/ Pownce)? I've never used either.

Image Citation
Faber, Henry. "Survey says...". hfabulous' Photostream. 31 Aug 2006. 27 Dec 2007.


  1. Great ideas here. I also love the survey, and took it for you.

    From my limited experience, I would steer clear of showing them how to do things they already do, only with technology added. My best results have always been in taking the lesson or activity to another level through the use of technology. My staff took that and ran with it.

  2. Patrick:
    These are people who are new teachers. I want to use the wiki for the types of brainstorming they already know to keep a permanent record of how they are using tools.

    I plan on using the survey to focus on what they do not know and take it from there. I'd really love to come back to the group at the end of the year and share the idea of creating personal learning networks. I'd love to see that happen for this group too.

  3. Whenever possible, draw parallels to "real life" situations.

    I mentioned that my daughter used Google Documents (at my suggestion) to track wedding preparations and update her guest list. I used a Doc for my Christmas gift-buying list - it could also be used for an emergency phone tree, etc.

    Google Reader doesn't have to be only for PD. It can contain hobby & entertainment sites.

    The more integrated these tools are into everyday life, the easier it will be for the teacher to translate them into classroom use.

    And, as Patrick said, one of your goals should be to make their life EASIER, not add another requirement to their planning & PD list.


  4. Thanks Diane. These are all things that I will remember weave into the stories I tell as I work with the teachers. You are so right - if you use the tool in "real life" it will fit well in your school life.

  5. Here are my first thoughts... very interesting! Thanks for sharing...

    question 1 - order and wording is confusing - more often - than what? -would prefer the answers to be in order like, daily, weekly, monthly, just once, never

    -also instead of asking did you use, I would suggest: did you need or did your projects use - did you use to me feels forced

    -in question 2, you are missing a word - professionally or personally use?
    -not sure that viewing other peoples is significantly different than hearing about it and the additional option gets confusing. I'd rather have - I have an account and I have an account and use it all the time - some people may have made an account but never found the use for it. That will change how they approach your session.

    skype should be in it's own category

    do you want to include video conferencing (skype video, aol and ichat video)

    -question 7- would you consider having a flickr account necessarily adding content to the Internet? I'm not sure...

    I would add a question of what have you seen or heard using any technology, that you wish you could do and why

    What is your least favorite part of your curriculum and why?

  6. Thanks for taking such a close look. I'm going to go back to working on it tomorrow. It always helps to have more than one set of eyes looking!

  7. I liked the survey. In question 1 under Internet Research I would add to the others.

  8. Chris - Thanks. I don't know how I missed that!

  9. This looks to be an excellent workshop. Scott's presentation slidshare is SUPER. I will share it with my students too.

    The survey was good, but the answer choices for the first question might need a slight change. For example, I wanted to answer everyday to most of them.

    If teachers (new) are like they are in my part of the country, most have probably heard of a wiki, but never used one. I think your plan to have them use the wiki during the workshop[ will help them figure out how to use in their own classrooms.

    I like SurveyMonkey, but have found a little free open source survey tool called Very simple, but embeds quite nicely in blogs, wiki's and websites.

    Looking forward to seeing how that wiki grows.

  10. Hi,
    This is Connie from Yugma. On behalf of Yugma with our One Year Anniversary, I would like to thank you for mentioning us on your site and helping us to spread the word about our product. The blogging community had had an integral part in making Yugma one of the fastest growing real-time web collaborations services in 2007 with over 100,000 users to date.
    To express our thanks, we’re donating/sponsoring Yearly Premium Yugma accounts (valued at $99.50) to bloggers who simply ask. To learn more about this program and how to get your sponsored Yugma account, check out the details on the Yugma blog – linked below.
    Please be sure to check this out soon! The window to request your account through the Yugma Blogger Program will be through the end of January, 2008.
    With Greatest Appreciation,
    Connie and the rest of the Yugma Team
    PS: Be sure to stay tuned! Yugma is set to release new features and improved performance in the next few weeks and months. To keep informed of all the happenings, check out under the news and blog.

    to answer your Yugma question - it is a desktop sharing/collaboration tool. it allows you to share your desktop and be interactive (you can switch presenters and allow others to share control of your mouse/keyboard with you) with one or many people, whether they are across the room or across the world from you. ...and it is integrated with skype so that you can "teleconference" for free with other skype users.

    please feel free to contact me if you have further questions about yugma. connie [at] yugma [dot] com